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Battlefield 1 Preview: The Great War is in Full Swing

Once the future and robots became a staple of first-person shooters, it only made sense that fan nostalgia for what came before would fuel upcoming games. Who would have thought that would mean we’d be going all the way back to The Great War for EA DICE‘s Battlefield 1, but here we are, and what’s even wilder is how something that takes us so far in the past would also feel so new and interesting from the perspective of all the other shooting games out there.

Battlefield 1, like every other Battlefield game, gives players the option of choice in the type of soldier they want to play as in the game; Assault, Medic, Support, and Sniper are all back, but the game also gives you the option of choosing two additional classes geared specifically toward the vehicles of the game: The Pilot and The Tanker.

What immediately stands out about Battlefield 1 is how gigantic the map itself is. The demo I played was a full on 32 v 32 match where our armies had to fight for objectives on the map, and the tide of war could turn quickly, let me tell you. Part of the reason that is the case is the vehicles themselves, which are as helpful now as they were in 1915 (with the same weakness to major explosives naturally).

Where Battlefield 1 distinguishes itself from the other games is dividing the already giant team into smaller squads. Members of your squad will show up on your reticle differently from other teammates and will also give you the opportunity to spawn on the field next to them. It’s a helpful change.

There are two drawbacks to the game though, and one of them is no real fault of the game itself. The maps are just too big. If all of the combat is sectioned off to one area of the map, and you choose to go to another corner to secure an unguarded objective, you could be alone for minutes at a time. There’s so much going on and the space is so wide that it’s easy not only to get lost but to lose track of where you should go. In addition, there’s the problem with some of the larger artillery. Again, by sticking to historical accuracy, DICE has delivered a game where your most powerful weapons can hardly be aimed at all by a player, and reloading can be a hastle. It’s frustrating, but then again so was war in the 1910s.

The all out destruction that players can take part in in Battlefield 1 is what makes it so interesting, and visually it’s stunning to see the game come together. Not only is 99% of the environment destructible, meaning craters and debris will never be the same, but the weather can fluctuate as the game continues. One minute it might be sunny and then you’ll find yourself in a rain storm or a fog patch. It adds a layer of depth to the multiplayer that makes it unique, especially if you’re lucky enough to actually be in an area of the map where others are fighting.

Battlefield 1 is a gorgeous and ambitious title, and in keeping with the thematics of the time period it has its frustrations. Fans of the series will likely find it a worthwhile experience, while newcomers can ogle at the visuals before realizing some games just aren’t for everyone.

Battlefield 1 will be released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 21. You can pre-order the game by clicking here.


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